Frances Johnson Mills died on Aug. 13, 2020, at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond.
Born in Navarro County, Texas, on Dec. 5, 1926, Frances grew up on a farm. She met John C. “Jack” Mills when he was in the Army, stationed in Texas. After marrying Jack in 1946, she moved to his hometown of Bogalusa. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Frances was very involved in her family’s numerous activities. Her door was always open to her children’s friends. Frances thrived in her new hometown, enriching her community through her work life and volunteer activities. She held positions at the Bogalusa City School Board office; the Bogalusa Coca-Cola Bottling Company, where she became manager; and the Bogalusa Heart Study.
Frances was a strong proponent of volunteerism and community involvement. She was a longtime member of Civic League and Ingleside Symposium. A founding member of the Bogalusa Community Medical Center Auxiliary, Frances served as a Pink Lady for over 50 years. She served on the Board of Directors for the Bogalusa Community Medical Center and on the Foundation Board for LSU Bogalusa Medical Center. She also served on the Board of Directors for YWCA, Camp Fire, and Westminster Woods housing development for senior citizens.
Frances was a devoted member of First Presbyterian Church, where she served in many capacities, including elder and clerk of session. She loved her church and her church family.
Frances served on many committees over the years. One of her favorites was the Bogalusa Centennial Tour of Homes committee in 2014. The following year, Frances was honored as the 2014 Bogalusa Citizen of the Year.
Always busy, Frances delighted in playing bridge, hunting for collectibles, and caring for her yard and flowers. She cherished and nurtured her friendships, whether they be old or new. Once asked by the local newspaper what she did in her spare time, Frances responded, “I don’t have any spare time.” Although she was almost 94 years old, she remained active, vibrant, and full of life until the very end.
Frances is survived by her daughter, Linda Mills (Kurt Kemper) of Covington; her son, John Claude Mills III (Roberta) of Hessel, Mich.; her daughter, Emily M. Johnson (Steven) of Santa Ana, Calif.; and her grandchildren, Melissa Anne Wood of Diamondhead, Miss., and John “Woody” Wood of Bogalusa. She is also survived by her brothers, Wallace Johnson and Don Johnson.
Frances is preceded in death by her husband, John C. “Jack” Mills; her daughter, Susan Mills Wood; her parents, Charles Wesley and Foy Wallace Johnson; and her brother, Charles Vernon Johnson.
The family appreciates the many kindnesses bestowed upon Frances by her numerous friends, especially Maria McBurney, who was generous beyond measure.
A graveside service celebrating her life will be held at Ponemah Cemetery on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 11 a.m. The service will be conducted by the Rev. Jim Stayton, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Bogalusa. There will be no calling hours prior to or following the service. Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The family requests that memorials be sent to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 296, Bogalusa, LA 70429.
Condolences may be shared on the Poole-Ritchie website at www.pooleritchiefuneralhome.com.